The practice of online casino games grows with each new day among the population in India. However, it is an activity considered illegal, since there are no clear laws that cast doubt on people when they want to make sports bets or play poker.
However, the recent news in regards to a panel of ministers of state to examine online and casino gaming services for India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) purposes has given much to talk about. But what does this mean? Here is a brief analysis of the information to understand it better.
What is the purpose of this new panel?
In the last two years, and especially during 2020, the online gambling activity in India grew considerably. In fact, it is estimated that if it continues at this rate, in 2025 it will be one of the main focuses of the industry. As reported by mid-day.com, this new sector is currently accounting for 18% of the GST, which is why it has been decided to form a panel made up of the Group of Ministers (GoM).
Therefore, the main task will be to evaluate the services provided by casinos, racetracks, and online casinos. Thus, the transactions carried out under these purposes will be evaluated with respect to the current legal provisions.
Does it have something to do with the legalization of online gambling in India?
Although the issue has not been addressed so far, the betting sector is in the uncertainty of knowing what its future will be, that is if the situation is finally going to be regularized or they will have to continue waiting. At the moment, it is a discussion to prepare a report which will be known within six months.
Who are the members of this panel?
Responsibility for this task lies with the knowledge and experience of West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra; Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Director Chowna Mein; Maharashtra Deputy Director Ajit Pawar; Tamil Nadu Finance Minister P Thiagarajan; Karnataka Interior Minister Basavaraj Bommai; and the Goa Minister of Transport, Mauvin Godinho.
In the end, a regulated market is preferable to one that is not
The goal of the casino and sports betting industry, as well as that of lotteries and horse racing, is simple: to achieve transparent regulation. When this finally happens, negative economic practices will be a thing of the past and the business climate will improve, not only in India but in any of the countries where a similar situation is currently experienced.
On the other hand, the protection of users would be increased, preventing minors from accessing betting websites and, above all, providing timely help to those who show signs of gambling addiction.
In conclusion, the road to legalizing gambling is already underway, it will take time, but in the end the effort will have been worth it because the gambling sector will finally be free of stigma and will be valued as a healthy recreational practice.